Property In The Early 20th Century

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Property is mostly associated with the owning of land. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, property is defined as: “something that is owned by a person, business, etc.; a piece of land often with buildings on it that it owned by a person, business, etc.,” but property is representative of so much more. With owning property comes power and wealth, not just land. Property has also been responsible for causing poverty. These representations can specifically be see within the Appalachian region in the early 20th century. With coal companies buying up all the land that they could due to the development of railroads; lots of famers were tricked into selling their lands and had to become miners to support their families. Coal Companies were quick to gain power over property as residents to the …show more content…
Once coal companies discovered that there was coal under the soil, they began buying up all the property that they could. Tricking uneducated landowners with “Broad form Deed’s” that were full of big words and confusing terms was what worked best when buying land. Most of these deeds were responsible for stripping landowners of their mineral rights so that coal companies could mine the coal under their soil and sell it for profit (Caudill, 1963, p. 74). These deeds were also very sneaky. According to Strobo, (2012), “broad form deeds left only a nominal title to the surface and total responsibility for property taxes with the landowner.” This also meant that all damages done to the surface of the land were the landowners responsibility and not the coal companies. The harm that was done to their land also made landowners previous ways of life much more difficult. This drove many farmers into poverty because this region thrived off of the farming and cultivation of land (Caudill, 1963, p.113). As the farmers began loosing their main source of income they began working in mines to support their

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